4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Hottest seat: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sits before the Senate Armed Services Committee May 7 to explain the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners, amid an increased clamor for his resignation.
Best backer: President Bush continues to support Rumsfeld.
Worst scapegoating: Reservist Jeremy C. Sivits, one of seven soldiers charged with prisoner abuse in Iraq, faces an extraordinarily speedy court martial May 19 in Baghdad.
Most long-awaited budget: The Virginia General Assembly passes a two-year budget May 7, two months after the legislature usually adjourns, handing Democrat Governor Mark Warner a major victory over the no-tax Republicans.
Worst news for careless lovers: The FDA ignores the advice of its own staff and two advisory panels to sell over-the-counter sales of the morning-after contraceptive, Plan B, which can prevent pregnancy if taken 72 hours after unprotected sex.
Most long-awaited documents: Judge Paul Peatross orders Albemarle police to release some of the files from its investigation of former deputy Stephen R. Shiflett, who falsely claimed he was shot by a black man, reports Liesel Nowak in the Daily Progress. Frank Brown and Latrone Jones have filed $4.25 million lawsuits against Shiflett.
Least surprising nomination: Al Weed gets the nod to run against Republican incumbent Virgil Goode at the Fifth District Democratic convention May 8.
Best quote from Charlottesville's new school superintendent: "I am proud of my impeccable instructional background and proven track record of increased student achievement," says Scottie J. Griffin May 6 at the announcement of her hiring, according to a Julie Stavitski story in the Progress. Griffin comes from New Orleans to be Charlottesville's first black female superintendent, a job that pays around $140,000 a year.
Best snit: Developer Gabe Silverman is honored with a preservation award for outstanding individual achievement, but he refuses to accept the Board of Architectural Review award because he's too hacked off at members of City Council, according to Reed Williams in the Progress.
Biggest group of stoners: Baby boomers, whose habitual marijuana use increased 355 percent (to about 0.4 percent of the population between ages 45 and 64) from 1991-92 to 2001-02, according to two surveys led by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The next largest group of potheads: young minorities.
Most prestigious look at medical marijuana use: UVA School of Medicine and Patients Out of Time are sponsoring the Third National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics May 20-22 in Charlottesville at the Omni, and are urging legislators to attend.
Least likely picnic where there'll be a cold beer: The Charlottesville Albemarle Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Family Fun Fest May 22 at Washington Park.
Best get for the Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University: Top Bush political strategist Karl Rove speaks to the Class of 2004 May 8.
Reddest face: After winemaker Patricia Kluge "severely chastised" the staff at Charlie Palmer Steak for not being able to find the New World Red that had been "personally delivered" the day before Kluge did lunch with Richard Lieby, the Washington Post's Reliable Source, Kluge Estates issues a mea culpa. "The wine was mistakenly delivered to another restaurant," says the statement. Kluge has pledged to hold two events at the restaurant, which has added New World Red to its wine list.